Menu JTA Search

Russia names new envoy to Israel

MOSCOW, April 10 (JTA) — Russia will soon be sending a new ambassador to Israel. Alexander Bovin, who has served more than five years as ambassador to the Jewish state, said he would be replaced by a new ambassador in mid-May. Bovin, a 67-year-old former journalist, was Russia’s first ambassador to Israel since the two countries broke off diplomatic relations in 1967. His replacement, Mikhail Bogdanov, 44, is a career diplomat who has served with the Russian embassies in Syria and Lebanon. In an interview prior to his departure from the post, Bovin
criticized Israeli officials for what he described as their exaggerations about the threat to Israel of Russian organized crime. “All this talk, this clamor about the `Russian Mafia’ is necessary for those who are afraid of competing with Russian business,” Bovin told a Moscow daily newspaper. His comments came after Israeli police officials announced earlier this month that their international crime-fighting division would be increased fivefold to combat Russian organized crime in the Jewish state.